By Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)
When it comes to paying all restaurants are the same: you go in, you order what you want and pay for what you’ve eaten. But not at Unity Grill in Ayr.
This may sound like a Utopian dream to many but not to Angela McNay: set to open in Ayr, Unity Grill will introduce a unique system that’ll allow customers to have a great meal without paying.
We value people’s time – it’s not just money that has value, the time they spend her has value too. If somebody were to walk in off the street and couldn’t afford to pay for their meal, we’ll ensure there’s plenty of opportunities to volunteer and contribute, whether that be in the kitchen or on the forefront of the restaurant.
South Ayrshire is the ideal place for an establishment like this to open in. The area regularly finds itself at the bottom of poverty tables and many areas find themselves with some of the lowest life expectancies in the country. The council hasn’t efficiently tackled the problem and with the number of food parcels being given out reaching an all-time high, it’s not set to get any better any time soon.
Angela plans on using her knowledge and various other skills in order to create a restaurant that will give back 100% of their profits to help tackle food poverty. The establishment is one made by the community by funding but they’ve also had an impact on the overall look: the walls and floor are adorned with wood from around Glasgow, pieces that were set to be thrown out and have been given a second chance. It’s hard not to feel like it’s pretty symbolic of the great job Unity Grill is trying to do.
Not only is Angela and her crew making their restaurant more accessible to the vulnerable, they’re also making it stigma-free by ensuring a peace of mind for their volunteers.
We’ve worked it out so that volunteers have time to give and that a balance will be created so that no one will be able to know who is working and what situation they are in.
While its approaches may be unconventional, Unity Grill has a solid foundation and is closely linked with other local agencies for support, meaning that they’ll be fully aware of those who are coming in, allowing for everything to run smoothly.
The name Unity Grill has a nice ring to it but it’s really what it stands for that adds further to the charm; a facility ran by a local woman, educated by a local university, funded and assisted by her community to help those who live here that are struggling – it really is a heartwarming tale right out of a storybook.